How To Reduce Food Waste This Christmas
Our nutritionist and recipe creator Casey-Lee Lyons shares with us her tips on reducing food waste this festive season.
From festive parties, entertaining with friends, family get-togethers and dinner table celebrations, Christmas is a time where we have an abundance of food which can also mean a lot of waste.
Food waste places a huge strain on our natural resources, from water, energy, land and fuel that all goes into the production of the food we eat. When we take steps to reduce our food waste, we are helping the planet towards a more sustainable future. Reducing food waste will not only reduce your carbon footprint but can also reduce your food bill.
Let’s work together to make a difference this year and fight food waste.
Here are my simple and practical tips to reduce food waste this Christmas:
Before the big day
Be mindful of how much food you are buying in your grocery shopping in the lead up until Christmas. You want to make as much space as possible in your fridge and pantry by using up ingredients you have to make room for the extra food you will need to store at Christmas.
In the weeks before Christmas, get creative with meals that can you make out of what you have on hand already to create space.
One of the biggest reasons for food waste is buying more than we actually need. Make a menu and plan for how many guests you are having. Rarely do we have too little food at Christmas time, in fact we usually have a lot of leftovers. Have a plan for your Christmas menu and stick to it, including how much food you will need for the number of people you are catering for.
Sometimes simple can be spectacular
When entertaining its easy to go overboard and try to make too many things and cater for everyone’s favourites. Pick just a few of your favourite recipes and make these stars of the show. Show case fresh, in season produce and let simple ingredients shine. This will not only reduce food waste and cost but will make your Christmas cooking a lot easier.
Check what you have before you shop
You might be surprised what ingredients you already have on hand. Often many of our staples are already in our pantry and we can make the most out of these.
As soon as you step foot in the supermarket, particularly at Christmas time, we are bombarded with marketing, offers, cleverly placed items on the shelves and the buzz of everyone shopping last minute.
Before you step in to the store, check your list and stick to it and be mindful as you shop.
Store your food correctly
If you store your food correctly, most of your food will last in your fridge. You want to keep things cool and check your fridge is set to the ideal temperature.
Avoid overcrowding your fridge so air can circulate and keep alike items together.
Get to know your fridge and where it’a coolest places are. My Mitsubishi Electric Fridge has different temperature regulation points in the fridge ensure uniform cooling and airflow to all shelves.
Make sure you store raw and cooked foods separately.
Keep your fresh produce in your vegetable drawer with root vegetables and harder vegetables together and your delicate fruits and vegetables separately.
If you are buy-in in advance, put any appropriate food in your freezer to prolong it’s life.
On Christmas Day
Keep your food cool as much as possible. Be mindful of how long food has been out for and try to return it to the fridge after clearing the table so you can make the most of leftovers and nothing goes to waste.
Store leftovers correctly
Place leftovers in the fridge or freezer as soon as possible.
Store food in air tight, leaf proof containers. I recommend storing in clear containers to easily see what you have.
Stackable containers are ideal for easy storage and organisation. Make sure you label leftovers, including a date. When you open your fridge doors and can easily read labels you are more likely to be reminded of what you have to use up first.
Use a “first in, first out” rule. Eat the oldest food that went in first. This is where labelling can help.
Keep meat, fish and poultry in the coolest part of your fridge. Some fridges, like the Mitsubishi Electric French Door Fridge have a specific, Supercool chilling case to store perishable food extra cold although not quite frozen, to keep fresher longer.
Be deliberate as to where you put your fruit and vegetables. Keep delicate fruit separately so you don’t bruise or it gets lost at the bottom. I keep delicate fruit such as berries and tomatoes on a designated shelf.
Most modern refrigerators can handle hot food being placed into a fridge. The Mitsubishi Electric French Door Fridge has an”instantly cool” function for exactly this! Or for when your fridge door has been open too long and you want to cool the fridge back to temperature quickly. Just wait until the food has stopped steaming before placing it in the fridge.
Make the most of your leftovers
Although we try hard, there will likely be leftovers from Christmas day. If you store these correctly we can make good use of these so they don’t go to waste.
Use up your leftovers in brunches, bakes, sandwiches, mix-and-match dinners and don’t be afraid to get creative. Some of the best creations and family approved meals can come from leftovers.
My Mitsubishi Electric Fridge has the latest features providing solutions to help reduce food waste and with the extra internal storage space, I can’t wait for Christmas entraining this year. To find out more about my Mitsubishi Electric French Door Fridge or to have a sneak peak inside visit their website.
I hope these tips inspire you to reduce food waste this Christmas.
Let’s fight food waste together and share your food waste tips in our Facebook community or please leave your ideas in the comments below.
COMMENT below with your food waste tips!